It has been estimated that over 10,000 dogs were slaughtered and eaten during the 2013 Summer Solstice Dog Meat Festival in China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region beginning on June 21, according to ChinaDaily.com.
Thousands of Yulin residents plan to eat dog meat and drink strong liquor in the streets during their 2014 traditional event, except that criticism continues to grow exponentially - both online and with local actors, lawyers, and veterinarians. According to Zheng Shishan, with the International Fund for Animal Welfare:
"Most of the discussion is centered on the emotional or sentimental aspect of eating dogs, but it is more important to look at the food safety aspect."
Veterinarians state that the men and women slaughtering the dogs are at risk for rabies, and there is little control over sanitary conditions as the dog meat is prepped and served.
The International Business Times reports that officials claim the dogs are specially bred on farms to be eaten, but experts have never found any such farms and report that the dogs are either swiped off of the streets or stolen from families. Dog ownership has continued to grow in popularity in China.
Stop the YuLin Dog Meat Festival Indiegogo's fundraiser organized by the DuoDuo Animal Welfare Project in California has raised over $20,000 to help rescue dogs, and to track the illegal capture and slaughter of the animals.
Local residents say it is their right and condemn the efforts being brought forth by humane advocates including a Yulin resident who stated:
"It is our tradition and our right to eat dog meat. If we are cruel and brutal, what about those who eat pork, beef and chicken?"
Every year the protests gain momentum and support, but tragically the tradition goes on.
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